Gwinnett County and the City of Lawrenceville received a $10,000 grant from Food Well Alliance for a new community garden at Rhodes Jordan Park to provide vegetables and greens to nearby residents who may not have access to nourishing food.
The alliance’s City Agriculture Grant will be used to support construction of the Lawrenceville Community Garden and develop an urban agriculture plan. The garden and related programs will help connect members of the community to needed services, offer classes on healthy lifestyles, and offer social opportunities to people in the area. The garden will be located near the Lawrenceville Senior Center.
“This program offers so many benefits,” said District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque. “The Food Well Alliance grant will help us address food insecurity, particularly among seniors, but it will do so in a way that engages people so that they can raise nutritious food, get some exercise, interact with other people, and become educated how to make healthy choices.”
The grant will help support Live Healthy Gwinnett’s Harvest Gwinnett initiative. Other Harvest Gwinnett partners are Gwinnett Parks and Recreation, Gwinnett Health and Human Services, UGA Extension Gwinnett, Georgia Gwinnett College, Gwinnett Tech and the city of Lawrenceville.
As envisioned, the garden will offer rentable plots, community shared rows, handicap accessible beds, a compost area and education space. The shared rows will provide fruits and vegetables to be donated to co-ops, churches and people in need. The first planting is set for late April.
The community garden will have hands-on learning opportunities for all ages and abilities, and will promote healthy eating habits by teaching people about nutrition, cooking, and food preservation. It also will help build diverse and collaborative relationships with community organizations, businesses, nonprofits and governmental entities.
Residents can learn how to be involved with the garden’s volunteer leadership group, plot rentals, community workdays and construction timeline at two upcoming public meetings at the Lawrenceville Senior Center – Thursday, Feb. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 29 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Food Well Alliance, funded through the James M. Cox Foundation, is a nonprofit organization endeavoring to equip local growers, local governments and residents with the tools they need to protect and support food-producing spaces. Since 2015, Food Well Alliance has invested nearly $3 million into 150 local food organizations that are building healthy, equitable communities across Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb and Clayton counties.